Kiske Law Office, LLC
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HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
It is difficult to make a realistic estimate of the total attorney fee for your case. Remember, when you are in litigation, there are many people involved you, the other parent/party, your lawyer, the other lawyer, the judge, and possibly a lawyer appointed for your children. We are unable to control the actions of the other parent/party, the other lawyer or the judge. The total attorney fee for your case will depend on the actions of each of the people involved, and on what you desire.
If you and the other parent/party want to settle your case, make compromises and end the matter quickly, we will help you do that to the best of our ability.
If you do not trust the other parent/party or they do not trust you-- the process will often become long, drawn out, and expensive. This process often includes what we refer to as “full” discovery and usually more than one or two court appearances.
In the end, going to trial is always more expensive than settling the lawsuit.
In addition, you should be aware that litigation is not just expensive monetarily. It is also expensive emotionally and with the amount of time you must commit to it:
YOUR TIME: In addition to paying your lawyer to spend time preparing your case, you will also have to spend your time to prepare your case. You must make a commitment to put the time you need into your case. It takes hard work. We will guide you in this process, but if you are not prepared to spend the time and do the work, then your case will not be as satisfactorily or inexpensively prepared as it will be if you make the expenditure of your time.
EMOTIONS: Most litigation involving family law generates an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved. Many health professionals will tell you that going through a divorce or having a child custody issue is one of the most painful experiences you can have, and some even say that you lose up to 30% of your IQ points during the divorce process! Sometimes a party to the lawsuit will use emotional manipulation as a way of “punishing” the other parent/party. For example, sometimes one party raises issues for the sole purpose of dragging the matter out as long as possible. The more issues raised, the more painful (and expensive) the process can become. We will sometimes recommend counseling for you or your children as a means to assist you through the litigation process.
MONETARILY: Preparing for and trying a lawsuit is very expensive. We encourage you to analyze the issues in your case at an early stage and determine which ones can be settled. We do not recommend making unreasonable or unnecessary concessions, but we do recommend you look carefully at the issues that separate you and the opposing party carefully. We are able to assist you in this process. You do exercise some control over the issues in your case. Therefore, if there are concessions you can make that would bring your case to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion, you should consider making them. We recommend discussing these concessions with your attorney before you make them. Remember, though, that litigation often begets further litigation, and attorneys charge for their time.
WILL I WIN? Sadly, no one “wins” in a family law case. We will raise the issues of which you inform us to the best of your advantage during your litigation. To do this you must communicate openly and honestly with us. We also strongly encourage you to keep some kind of “diary” or “notebook” to assist you both in communicating with us and in keeping track of important developments in your case. Please note that our approach to child custody and family law litigation is always to act so as to not make a bad situation worse. We will work to defuse tensions, avoid hostility, and maximize the ability of you and the other party to arrive at a fair and reasonable settlement. Many studies and our own experience show that a negotiated agreement between the parties serves both parties and their children best. An agreement allows the parties to "fine tune" matters between themselves in a way that courts are often unable to do. The court will never know your family’s needs as well as you do. Therefore, it is always prudent to work out a settlement if possible. No settlement will be reached without your direct involvement and consent. Not every case is able to be settled. When the case does not settle despite the best efforts of the attorneys and parties, we are well qualified to represent you at trial. In our experience, only a small percentage of cases do not reach settlement.